A new report shows the average Brit will spend almost half (44%) of their monthly salary on Christmas, while one in fifteen (6%) spend in excess of a month’s salary.
The Christmas Spending Report from Nationwide Building Society looks into how the nation finances the big day and reveals that many Brits are left in the red, months after the decorations come down.
In terms of the amount spent, the average is £646. However, one in five people admit to splashing out more than £1,000 ahead of the big day. This leaves a fifth of Brits suffering financially for three months or more, and one in three regretting the amount they have spent over Christmas.
Because it’s the time of year when cash flow is most often stretched, for 30% the cost of good cheer is in some part carried by debt, as 21% put the expense on their credit cards and one 9% rely on their overdraft.
While 30% pay off the debt within a month, 15% take up to three months and one in 50 takes a year or longer to clear the cost. All that financial pressure leads to 14% of Brits arguing about the cost of Christmas with their partners.
When it comes to gifts, 55% buy the majority online while 30% purchase most of their presents in high street chains. Of these, 6% mostly use independent retailers and 4% make their selections at the supermarket.
Three quarters shop around for bargains, 34% use vouchers or loyalty points (28%), and 23% take advantage of deal or sale days such as Black Friday. A very well prepared one in ten admit to doing the majority of their Christmas spending in the January sales – 11 months ahead.
While the average amount spent on presents for a partner or spouse is £117, one in ten splash out more than £200. However, a more frugal 9% of women and 3% of men spend less than £25 on their loved one.
On average, Brits buy a total of 15 gifts each year, though one in ten buy more than 30. Unsurprisingly, we spend most on children – an average of £145 – although one in 20 parents spend in excess of £400. Parents and in-laws receive gifts worth an average of £52, grandparents £31 and friends £34. The family pet merits an average spend just under £22.
A further £12 is spent on Christmas decorations for the home, £9 on gift wrapping and almost £10 each for cards and crackers,
In stark contrast with all these festivities, 2% of those surveyed said they didn’t spend anything on Christmas and 5% never actually receive any gifts.